Daily Archives: May 15, 2009

Getting to 50/50 by Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober

Getting to 50/50 makes the impassioned argument that marriages in which parents share work and family responsibilities equally work better for everyone involved. The authors only consider heterosexual marriages – it would have been quite interesting to contrast how gay couples approach this dilemma. They also write from the perspective of upper middle-class, even upper class parents who can afford to live on one generous income, which makes for occasionally amusing advice, although I found many of the examples very inspiring: these women have accomplished so much professionally!

The first part is a vibrant philosophical and theoretical discussion of why equality is preferable and the second half dives into eminently practical details of how to make it work, such as when to announce your pregnancy at work (answer: as late as you can fit in your old pants — the right answer in my experience!) So that makes it the quintessential women’s book, doesn’t it: from the sublime to the nitpicking all in one fell swoop.

I was less interested in theĀ  practical second half, although I imagine it could be very helpful for someone younger than me (where was it when I was trying to figure it out?) I can only agree with the theoretical idea, although I’m not as optimistic as the authors are when it comes to realizing the vision. Will our daughters (and, most importantly, our sons) “get it”? I sure hope so.

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